TRAVEL gurus Lonely Planet have ranked the UK's 500 most unmissable sights and experiences - and 19 of them are in the north west.

Lonely Planet's Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist has been published in a new book and features everything from street theatre to jaw-dropping geological wonders.

Topping the pile is Edinburgh Festival Fringe which takes place every August and over the past 70 years has become the world's largest arts show.

With knife-throwing unicyclists, karaoke versions of Macbeth and drag queens pulling balloons from their buttocks, there are 3,500 sights and experiences taking place in 300 venues across the city.

The top five also includes the British Museum in London, The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, the Roman baths in Bath and Hadrian's Wall.

Leading the way for the north west region of England at number 122 is experiencing a football match in Manchester, where 'the world’s most famous team (Manchester United) shares a city with the world’s richest (Manchester City).

The guide adds: "Games at United’s Old Trafford ground or at City’s newer Etihad stadium are not just an exhibition of top-class football but a boisterous showcase of a billion-dollar global spectacle.”

This is joined by 18 other sights and experiences in the region including the 'superb' People’s History Museum, the Beatles’ childhood homes at 157 and the John Rylands Library at 221.

Full list of entries in Northwest England by rank:

122: Become a fan of a British obsession at a football match in Manchester

133: Hail the struggle for social justice at the People's History Museum

157: Be inspired at the Beatles' childhood homes

189: Get loud and proud in Manchester's Gay Village

215: Learn about history's horrors at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool

221: Get bookish in the John Rylands Library

236: Go head over heels at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

282: Have a medieval retail experience in Chester Rows

301: Explore the historic Albert Dock, Liverpool

303: Hike and cycle through the Ribble Valley

368: Take in the thrills and spills of the TT on the Isle of Man

379: Get into Godard at HOME, Manchester

420: Wet your beak at the Philharmonic pub, Liverpool

427: Seek the truth at the Greater Manchester Police Museum

443: Hang out with the cool kids in the Baltic Triangle, Liverpool

446: Uncover island life at the Cregneash Village Folk Museum on the Island of Man

448: Go on the hunt for a treasure hoard at Beeston Castle

466: Climb the Great Laxey Wheel on the Isle of Man

494: Find top culture at Manchester's Lowry

To create Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist, the Lonely Planet team compiled every highlight from the Lonely Planet guidebooks to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Every sight, attraction and experience that had caught their writers’ attention over the years were included.

Everyone in Lonely Planet’s London office, plus 20 leading figures in the country’s travel sector, were then asked to reveal their favourite spots and experiences before the voting began.

Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience, said: “Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist brings together the UK’s most compelling sights and experiences, ranging from world-class museums and giant cathedrals to rollicking festivals, inky lochs and tiny pubs.

"North west England is brimming with history, creativity and innovation, so it’s only right that a good number of the region’s wonderful offerings feature among our favourites in the UK.”